You’ve reached week 41 of pregnancy and might, by now, be feeling a bit overdone. You also may be wondering what could possibly be keeping your baby from being born. Is it because his or her fetal development is still incomplete? Is it simply due to a miscalculation of your due date? Though it is perfectly normal for you to worry, there is little need. About 40-50% of pregnant women give birth well over their due date so you are definitely not alone in this. Now that you’re no longer despairing over your current predicament, let’s find out what does happen during week 41 of pregnancy.
Your baby at week 41 of pregnancy
What fetal development can we expect during this week in pregnancy? For one, your baby will continue to gain weight as long as he remains inside your womb. By now, he will be around 7 ½ to 8 pounds heavy and 21 inches long. Aside from continuing his growth, your baby’s endocrine system will also be quite busy during week 41 of pregnancy. It will be preparing to produce a large amount of stress hormones that your baby will need during his birth. These hormones will help your baby deal with all the excitement of being born and enable him to use his “survival instincts” as he starts to adjust to life outside the womb.
Aside from the developments mentioned above, there is nothing else happening inside your womb. And as long as the level of amniotic fluid in your uterus is still adequate and your baby’s vital signs remain normal, then there’s nothing for you to worry about. If you have any questions about how well your baby is doing during week 41 of pregnancy, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor.
Moms at week 41 of pregnancy
By this week in pregnancy, you may be feeling anxious and hugely pregnant. And most of your time is probably spent thinking of when your baby will arrive as well as wondering if anything is wrong. Though it may be a bit difficult to keep negative thoughts at bay, it is still quite worth the effort to at least try. As previously stated, millions of pregnant women have given birth way past their due date and there was nothing wrong with their babies. There’s also a good chance that you may find yourself undergoing labor sometime this week. Either way, your doctor will definitely be monitoring you and your baby during this week until such time that you deliver.
Since you still haven’t given birth by week 41 of pregnancy, your doctor may ask you to undergo a nonstress test just to make sure that everything is alright with the baby. Some doctors even go so far as to ask their patients to take an ultrasound to ensure that the levels of amniotic fluid in the uterus are still in the normal range. In addition to monitoring you and your baby’s health, your doctor may also start talking about inducing labor, especially if there is cause for concern.
What else can you expect during week 41 of pregnancy? Aside from your feelings of anxiety, you’ll also be feeling less movement in your belly. By now, your baby has become quite large and is too cramped to move much. You may also start to notice some mucous discharge that’s either pink or brown. This discharge indicates that the blood vessels in your cervix are rupturing due to the opening up of your cervix in preparation for your baby’s delivery. The other pregnancy symptoms you’ll endure include frequent urination and some discomfort in your pelvic area.
Keeping Calm During Week 41 of Pregnancy
Now that you know what to expect, what else can you do? Try to keep the baby off the brain. Though it can be hard to avoid getting anxious and wondering what the delay is all about, it’s best to make sure that you are too busy to think about all the worries that want to crowd into your mind. Try to find things that will keep you busy and your mind off things that you needn’t worry about. Get out of the house more and try to fill your days with as much activity as you can. Think of doing things that you may not have a chance to do much anymore once the baby is born. Go on romantic walks with your partner or have a long lunch with friends. You can even start doing some much needed grocery shopping to ensure that your fridge is fully stocked with ready-made meals, perfect for the time when you’ll be too busy to cook because of the baby.